It’s time to refresh your routine for the upcoming season, and we’ve rounded up our favourite products to help you shine this spring
1. Fat Oil Lip Drop by NYX, $14
The lip oil trend remains strong, and NYX has a new drugstore contender. Available in eight flexible shades, this candy-scented lip treatment is thick without being sticky and gives high-gloss shine while cushioning your lips. The doe-foot applicator is satisfyingly large and plush, coating lips in a single swipe.
2. Sculpt & Glow Bar by Ember, $29 for bar and $25 for refill
From Toronto-based wellness brand, this new innovative tool is made from skincare ingredients itself. As you use it to massage and sculpt your face, it slowly melts away leaving zero waste. It’s shaped like a gua sha tool with contours, but also has ridges. Just hold this tool in your hands to warm up and when you feel the oils start to melt, begin to glide this over your face. It’ll hydrate and protect your skin carrier while imparting a subtle glow thanks to the sustainably sourced mica. Made from 12 organic ingredients, it’s waterless, vegan and refillable.
3. Embody Volumizing Foam by JVN, $48
Whether you’re battling hat hair or frizzy flyaways, this new non-aerosol foam adds volume while protecting from both humidity and heat from styling tools. Nearly weightless, it provides touchable control with its formula of polymers (to help with style memory), marshmallow root extract (for hold and hydration), and biotin (or, B7, to improve hair thickness). Just apply to damp hair where volume and control are desired, distribute with fingers or a wide-tooth comb, and style as usual.
4. Stay Naked Quickie Concealer by Urban Decay, $40
Quickie looks different. There’s a little something at the top. And that’s the capped brush that makes this the ultimate on-the-go concealer (just please make sure to wash the brush periodically like any other brush). Available in 20 shades, Quickie’s vegan formula is infused with vitamin E to keep skin dewy while the blendable and buildable coverage helps tackle any skin concern, from spots to dark circles to hyperpigmentation. Just tap on product with the doe-foot applicator, buff, and powder if necessary.
5. Dynamic Skin Retinol Serum by Dermalogica, $128
Dermalogica’s latest serum is a superstar. If you’re new to retinols, you need to know that they’re not the same. And more is definitely not more. The higher the percentage of any active, the higher your chances of skin irritation. What matters is that you’re getting an active that has supporting ingredients to help the skin make the most of any active without sacrificing overall skin texture and tone. This retinol is a powerhouse with a 3.5 percent retinol complex working to achieve the goal of fresh, smooth skin. It’s also partnered with squalane, helping to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, texture, pores, and uneven skin tone. And if you’ve heard horror stories about purging and flaking skin, know that this formula also contains oat-derived beat-gluan to help hydrate, soothe and restore skin. And like all retinols, start off slowly. Use once to twice per week and gradually increase, as tolerated. For really sensitive skins, try buffering it with your regular night cram. And, always, followup with a broad-spectrum sunscreen during the day.
6. Replica ‘On a Date’ perfume by Maison Margiela, starting at $40
Like any good date, this perfume is a little familiar but also a little mysterious. At times you'll recognize the scent like a warm hug, while other times it’ll catch you off guard in the most delightful way. Is it floral? Woodsy? Musky? Maybe it depends if your date is fun or challenging or chill. The fragrance has hints of warm florals with key notes of blackcurrant liquor accord, balanced by rose petal and patchouli. A mix of delicate playfulness and sparkling coyness, this is a wearable, approachable scent to usher in spring.
7. Aqua Bomb Broad Spectrum SPF 50 by belif, $50
A leader in Korean beauty, belif has launched its very first sunscreen product. And if you only knew how difficult it is to get sunscreens into Canada, you’d be rejoicing. Hard. Born from the DNA of the fan-favourite Aqua bomb moisturizer, this is deeply hydrating while providing broad-spectrum (UVA + UVB) sun protection. It’s a chemical sunscreen so it won’t leave a white-case or sticky residue. It sinks easily into the skin and works beautifully under most makeup. The flattened rectangular bottle also makes it easy to slide into bags and backpacks for those midday reapplications.
8. Orgasm Rising Eyeshadow Palette by NARS, $62
If you thought Orgasm (the colour) was a one-hit wonder, this nine-pan eyeshadow palette shows how versatile and flattering this cult-favourite peachy-pink colour can be. Textures range from matte, satin and glitter for a variety of eye-opening looks. Pure pigments are suspended in an innovative liquid-binding system, meaning colours are true and pigmented. Shades (from left to right, top to bottom) include: Hotwired (golden shimmer); High Speed (sparkling opal); Orgasm (peach pink with gold shimmer); Seven Heaven (matte sand); Seduced (sparkling amber); Reckless (satin terracotta); Push It (matte warm chestnut); Faster Pussycat (metallic copper); and Galapagos (bitter chocolate infused with gold).
9. Take the Day Off Charcoal Cleansing Balm by Clinique, $49
Clinique’s classic cleansing balm gets an update with Japanese charcoal, which detoxifies pores and thoroughly cleanses skin, so you can use it as step one or on its own for a nourishing cleanse that leaves nothing behind. Fans of the original will still recognize the solid-to-oil texture that melts away tenacious face and eye makeup, sunscreen and pollutants. Sunflower seed oil and vitamin E nourish the skin so skin is never overstripped. This is everything we love about the original, but in a satisfyingly deep, black formula.
10. Halo Sheer To Stay Cream Cheek + Lip Tint by Smashbox, $28
From the Halo franchise, Smashbox has a new lip and cheek tint that’s creamy with sheer-but-buildable colour. As a cheek tint, colours give an instant flush of a brightening hue that will have your colleagues asking you why you’re so happy. The longevity is pretty good, but set it with a powder blush to make it last all day. Also, work on one cheek at a time as this colour does set more quickly than other cream blushes. The tube has a slanted tip, creating a hands-free way to apply a wash of colour on lips. It’s pretty on the lips, but works better as a blush.
11. Ultra Facial Advanced Repair Barrier Cream by Kiehl’s, $55
Your face doesn't have to feel tight and dry. Those fine lines and flaky patches, they don’t have to be there. What you need is a barrier SOS, which is what this cream offers. Don’t be alarmed by the stiff, almost solid texture that comes out of the tube. It softens quickly once you work it into your fingertips. Pat this onto your skin for instant relief from irritation and discomfort. It’s made with colloidal oatmeal, which instantly soothes even the most sensitive skin. It absorbs very quickly and has a breathable, non-oily, non-greasy texture that plays well with makeup. That said, it’s also fantastic patted onto the skin mid-day when cold winds or overheated offices start to stress your skin.
12. Icon Velvet Liquid Lipstick by Fenty, $38
These lipsticks have a whipped, creamy texture and pigmentation that is stunningly spectacular. You’ll need precision and a mirror to apply them. The Stunna Lip Paints have a more true matte finish whereas these have a soft, velvety matte finish. There are five shades: two mauvey-pinks, two reds and one brown, and come in a sleek clear acrylic tube with a holographic logo on the cap and a translucent logo on the tube so you can see exactly what colour you’ve got without having to read the teeny-tiny stick at the bottom.